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Thread: Syrian Civil War Developments

  1. #2776
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    We are not arguing 'Original Sin' here dating back to the Garden of Eden but total slimeball possibility regarding the allegations and known history of Trumpkin and Ladies from many sources. The details we hope not to discuss as they are not really the discourse of polite society. I, being female, certainly dislike his remarks regarding Ladies but that is not what troubles me; I have heard it all before. Trumpkin is deeply compromised by Moscow and a total egotist in it entirely for himself. That he is disrespectful to any Lady that goes near him is their problem. His deeper problems are what concerns me as they may affect me, my country and my family.

  2. #2777
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Trumpkin is deeply compromised by Moscow
    Are you freaking serious? 100 missiles and 3 destroyed sites says you don't know jack shit about him.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    His deeper problems are what concerns me as they may affect me, my country and my family.
    Go worry about upcoming sleepless nights and doctor visits up the ying yang. Start putting money away for an education fund. Leave the things you can't do anything about than to preach to those who don't want your surmons.

  3. #2778
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Are you freaking serious? 100 missiles and 3 destroyed sites says you don't know jack shit about him.
    From a man who criticised others (rightly in my view) continually for signalling what they may do but yet himself made public via twitter what he planned to do? "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" from a guy who preached not telling them? Nothing will change in Syria because there is no coherent policy on what should be done. One of strikes - no matter how much ordinance is dropped on infrastructure, change not a jot on the ground. Trumpkin got to look big, the murders will continue. "Mission Accomplished".

    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Go worry about upcoming sleepless nights and doctor visits up the ying yang. Start putting money away for an education fund. Leave the things you can't do anything about than to preach to those who don't want your surmons.
    Sermons* or is that preaching too? You keep on preaching too Colonel. I am looking forward though to the birth of my daughter, though hopefully not the sleepless nights as my Muscovite cousin has volunteered to help as a 'Nanny' so God willing I shall time to recover with my Husband, milk some goats, cook, enjoy a few glasses of wine again and read before I travel again or return to work.

  4. #2779
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Nothing will change in Syria because there is no coherent policy on what should be done.
    It's often said that something is better than nothing. Not always true. Sometimes nothing is far better than certain somethings.

    And a coherent policy can be worse than an incoherent one. "Incoherence" gives one options, flexibility, and room to maneuver when the ground shifts beneath one's feet.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 16 Apr 18, at 19:34.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  5. #2780
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Congress' war making powers are basically a giant appropriations bill, since they know longer issue letters of margue. For money already disbursed ie weapons already bought, the President's authority to use force is unrestrained by the Constitution. The President can use every bomb and bullet in the US inventory. The one thing he can't do is buy more.
    Yeah the 90 days or so he has to declare & prosecute a war on anybody

    I didn't realise there are as many as 2000 US personnel in Syria
    Last edited by Double Edge; 16 Apr 18, at 10:15.

  6. #2781
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    WSJ's edit is calling for the setting up of a safe zone. similar to what happened after GW1

    Trump’s Next Syria Challenge | WSJ | Apr 15 2018

    A single missile strike won’t stop the designs of Iran and Russia.

    By The Editorial Board
    April 15, 2018 3:13 p.m. ET

    President Trump announced “mission accomplished” after Friday night’s missile attack on Syria, and he’s right if his goal was merely to punish Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons. But if Mr. Trump also wants to deter Russian and Iranian imperialism, reduce the chances of another Mideast war and keep Syria from producing global terrorists, he needs a more ambitious strategy.

    Even narrowly defined, the military strike was valuable in enforcing the longtime taboo against chemical weapons—all the more so after Barack Obama drew his famous “red line” in 2013 and failed to enforce it. Criticism of the strike from the Obama gallery that failed so utterly in Syria can’t be taken seriously.

    The 105 Tomahawk and standoff air missiles, launched from three directions into Syria, did tangible damage to Syria’s chemical-weapons R&D and storage facilities. Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters, “no Syrian weapon had any effect on anything we did,” including Russian-supplied missile defenses.

    The damage might have a deterrent effect on Assad’s use of chemicals, given that Mr. Trump said Friday he is prepared to enforce the ban again. Mr. Trump lost credibility on that score in the last year after his Administration concluded several times that Assad had used chlorine gas but took no action. Next time the attack should be even more punishing.

    The military contribution from Britain and France was useful in demonstrating a larger willingness to prevent the normalization of WMD. And the strike could have a demonstration effect on North Korea as Mr. Trump heads into his perilous summit with Kim Jong Un.

    ***
    Yet one bombing won’t change the fundamentals of the Syrian battlefield, or the strategic reality that the Russia-Iran-Assad axis is winning. By Sunday Assad had already resumed bombing rebel areas, including civilian homes. To alter those realities, Mr. Trump has to do more than plead with the Russians and Iranians as he did Friday night:

    “To Iran, and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?” The answer is they do.

    And the only way to change their minds is to change their recognition of the costs and benefits of intervention.

    One useful step would be keep the pressure on Russia to fulfill its agreement to eliminate chemical arms from Syria. Russia surely knew about the stockpiles, and the U.S. should demand that the United Nations office in Damascus inspect the chemical attack areas. It should also insist on U.N. access to all areas needing humanitarian aid. If Syria refuses, the U.N. should cease all such aid to the country since most of it now goes to the regime.

    More broadly, Mr. Trump needs a strategy for putting pressure on the Syrian axis and gaining leverage in talks to end the civil war. The best idea we’ve seen would follow the example of President George H.W. Bush after the first Gulf War in 1991.

    The U.S. and its allies established and enforced a no-fly safe zone in northern Iraq that protected the Kurdish areas from attacks by Saddam Hussein. The plan worked for a decade and allowed the Kurds to build the most prosperous, pro-American part of Iraq.

    The U.S. already operates a de facto safe zone east of the Euphrates River with some 2,000 troops. But a zone there and another near the border with Jordan might require fewer troops once Islamic State fighters are further reduced. Such a zone would allow refugees to return safely, easing pressure on nearby states. It would give the U.S. leverage over Kurds and Arabs under protection to help against a revival by Islamic State or al Qaeda. And that might help ease tensions with the Turks.


    Such a zone wouldn’t threaten Assad’s control over the rest of Syria, but the U.S. has called for Assad’s ouster for seven years without effect. Better to accomplish what we can than to keep tilting at what we can’t.

    Above all, the safe-zone strategy would send a signal that the U.S. isn’t abandoning the region to Iran and Russia. Iran’s strategy is to use southern Syria as a second base, along with Lebanon, for Hezbollah militia and arms on the border with Israel. This would make an Israeli-Iran conflict inevitable, and the U.S. would be drawn in eventually.

    The better U.S. strategy is to support regional opponents of Iranian imperialism and try to turn Syria into the Ayatollah’s Vietnam. Only when Russia and Iran begin to pay a larger price in Syria will they have any incentive to negotiate an end to the war or even contemplate a peace based on dividing the country into ethnic-based enclaves.


    ***
    Executing such a strategy would require considerable diplomacy, as well as persuasion and commitment by Mr. Trump at home and abroad. Perhaps that is beyond his interest or capacity. But this Administration still has three years to run, and what former General David Petraeus once called the “geopolitical Chernobyl” of Syria is far from contained.

    Barack Obama dealt Mr. Trump a bad hand by letting Russia, Iran and China believe they could advance their goals of regional domination without U.S. resistance. In Syria as elsewhere, Mr. Trump has to decide if he wants to ratify that American retreat or develop a strategy to stop it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chakos View Post
    Maybe someone can explain something to me here. Seeing the images of this alleged attack it doesn’t look anything like a chemical weapons attack. It actually looks to me that the US is looking for an excuse to smack down Assad and humiliate the Russians. My question is this... so what if Assad wins and Russia gains an alliance with a newly resurgent secure Shi’a crescent.

    What does America lose in real terms? How does this effect US foreign policy and economy if the Middle East ends up dominated by a Russian/Shi’a alliance backed by Chinese money?
    Geopolitical Chernobyl as Petraues put it. If Iranian designs continue it just leads to more unrest
    Last edited by Double Edge; 16 Apr 18, at 12:27.

  7. #2782
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    [Moved several posts to the American Political Scene thread]
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #2783
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    From a man who criticised others (rightly in my view) continually for signalling what they may do but yet himself made public via twitter what he planned to do? "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" from a guy who preached not telling them? Nothing will change in Syria because there is no coherent policy on what should be done. One of strikes - no matter how much ordinance is dropped on infrastructure, change not a jot on the ground. Trumpkin got to look big, the murders will continue. "Mission Accomplished".
    Mission was accomplished. Chemical weapons factories were destroyed. Chemical weapons storage was destroyed. Moscow's bluff was called.

    In case you have not been keeping count and you have not. That's THREE strikes against Moscow. The cruise missile strike last year. Bombing a Russian merc column. And today. Your Trumpkin claims are every bit as hollow as your professionalism.

    The fucks can go on killing each other. Good!

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Sermons* or is that preaching too? You keep on preaching too Colonel. I am looking forward though to the birth of my daughter, though hopefully not the sleepless nights as my Muscovite cousin has volunteered to help as a 'Nanny' so God willing I shall time to recover with my Husband, milk some goats, cook, enjoy a few glasses of wine again and read before I travel again or return to work.
    Sleepless nights are part of the job and joys. You're the mother, not your cousin.

  9. #2784
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    The US Navy appears to have fooled Russia and Syria with a warship ruse before the strike

    When President Donald Trump threatened to send missiles at Syria — despite Russia's promises to counter-attack— all eyes turned towards the US Navy's sole destroyer in the region. But that may have been a trick.

    Pundits openly scoffed at Trump's announcement of the strike days in advance, especially considering his criticism of Barack Obama for similar talk, but the actual strike appeared to go down well.

    In April 2017, two US Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean steamed into the region, let off 59 cruise missiles in response to suspected gas attacks by the Syrian government, and left unpunished and unpursued.

    But this time, Russian officials threatened to shoot down US missiles, and potentially the ships that launched them, if they attacked Syria. A retired Russian admiral spoke candidly about sinking the USS Donald Cook, the only destroyer in the region.

    When the strike happened, the Cook didn't fire a shot, and a source tell Bloomberg News it was a trick.

    Instead, a US submarine, the USS John Warner, fired the missiles while submerged in the eastern Mediterranean, presenting a much more difficult target than a destroyer on the surface. Elsewhere in the sea, a French navy frigate let off three missiles.


    But the bulk of the firing came from somewhere else entirely — the Red Sea.

    Near Egypt, the USS Monterey, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser fired 30 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the USS Laboon, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer shot 7, accounting for about a third of the total 105 missiles fired.

    Combined with a trilateral air assault from a US B-1B Lancer bomber and UK and French fighter jets, the attack ended up looking considerably different than last year's punitive strike.

    Photos from the night of the attack show Syrian air defenses firing missile interceptors on unguided trajectories, suggesting they were simply blind fired, and did not target or intercept incoming missiles.

    "No Syrian weapon had any effect on anything we did," Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie told reporters of the strike on Saturday, calling the strike "precise, overwhelming and effective."

    Syria said it shot down 71 of the missiles fired, but no evidence has yet surfaced to vindicate that claim. During the last strike, the US admitted when one of its Tomahawks failed to reach its target due to an error with the missile. Link
    ________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Interesting how "little" was launched from the Med.
    I wonder if that was to demonstrate to all and sundry how boxed in Syria is and how even potentially disputing control of the Med is no shield for her.

    Or maybe there was just a dearth of appropriate assets there.
    Looks like we have our answer. Very gratifying to see some imagination being used by the strike planners, not simply falling back on what's been done before.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  10. #2785
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    Should also be noted that Russian AD radars were turned off after the American warning that they were going to act. I can think of 2 reasons.

    1) Fear of HARM
    2) Did not want the Americans to know that they could not track the attack.

  11. #2786
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    Can't help but wonder how many "cats were let out of the bag".

  12. #2787
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    Sad follow up to the Russian mercenaries story:

    Russian journalist died from "mysterious" fall after reporting on the casualties

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43781351

    Not really mysterious at all what happened after you look at the circumstances isn't it?

  13. #2788
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Should also be noted that Russian AD radars were turned off after the American warning that they were going to act. I can think of 2 reasons.

    1) Fear of HARM
    2) Did not want the Americans to know that they could not track the attack.
    and
    2b) To prevent whatever ESM birds, ships and/or stations in the region from vacuuming up everything they could glean about those AD radars.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Israeli intelligence reportedly says Trump's Syria strike failed, didn't take out much of anything

    Israeli intelligence officials have concluded that the US, UK, and France's missile strikes on Syria's suspected chemical weapons sites were a failure.
    Multiple Israeli government and military sources criticized the strikes effectiveness in hurting Syria's ability to conduct chemical attacks.
    These officials also criticized President Donald Trump talking about the strikes beforehand.
    The US and allies' strikes on Syria likely didn't change anything on the battlefield, and it's hard to know how much of the chemical weapons stockpile was hit.

    The US, UK, and France's missile strike on Syria's suspected chemical weapons sites involved 105 missiles fired from air and sea to rain down thousands of pounds of explosives on three sites across the country— but Israeli intelligence officers reportedly called it a failure.

    "If President Trump had ordered the strike only to show that the US responded to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad's use of chemical weapons, then that goal has been achieved," a senior defense official told Israel's Ynet News. "But if there was another objective — such as paralyzing the ability to launch chemical weapons or deterring Assad from using it again — it's doubtful any of these objectives have been met."

    An intelligence officer who talked to Ynet wasn't as forgiving.

    "The statement of 'Mission Accomplished' and (the assertion) that Assad's ability to use chemical weapons has been fatally hit has no basis," the source said, likely referring to a recent tweet from President Donald Trump.

    Unlike the strike in April 2017, the US and its allies did not target Assad's jets or airfields, though that attack was also apparently of low impact, as Assad's jets took off from the damaged airfield within 24 hours and reports of chemical warfare by his regime persisted.

    Israel apparently not impressed with Trump's tough talk

    The Tayfur, or T-4 military airbase near Homs, Syria. Google Maps
    The Israelis seemed to take particular issue with Trump talking about his plans to strike before the military action took place. In comparison, Israel is suspected of carrying out a silent but lethal air war against Iranian-aligned militias in Syria, though it seldom ever comments on whether it took part in specific strikes, and always after the fact.

    "If you want to shoot — shoot, don't talk," an Israeli diplomatic source told Ynet. "In the American case, this is mostly talk. They themselves show actions are not going to follow."

    After Trump tweeted that Russia and Syria should "get ready" for incoming missiles, it appears they moved assets to more protected locations, potentially limiting the available targets for the strike.

    Nobody knows how much chemical weapons Assad has left

    The US said the strike had hit the "heart" of Assad's chemical weapons infrastructure, but admitted some residual capabilities remained. The strike certainly did not deal any damage to Assad's air force, which is suspected to deploy the chemical weapons.

    While the Israelis estimated that the strikes didn't hit the bulk of Assad's chemical weapons, it's hard to know exactly how much or where the weapons stores could be, as international inspectors certified that Syria had removed their weapons of mass destruction as a result of a deal between then-President Barack Obama and Russia in 2013.

    But reports of chemical attacks have regularly surfaced since then, and recent reports from Islamist rebels fighting Assad in Douma, the town where the most recent suspected chemical attack sparked the US and allies' strike, said Assad is using the terrifying weapons to win on the battlefield.

    "They bombed and bombed and we weren't defeated by conventional weapons so they found the only way was to use chemical (weapons)," a rebel told Reuters.

    Despite the US and allies' missile strike on Syria, Assad's regime has only strengthened and fortified its position by clearing out more rebel strongholds.

    The UK has admitted that the strike did not intend to turn the overall tide of the war, and was essentially meant as a punitive action to compel Assad not to use chemical weapons. Link
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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